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  1. #1
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Default Participal Construction (#3)

    Dear teachers,

    In my past thread, I have learned that the following sentence is what is called a "hanging participle" or a "dangling participle," where the subject in the main clause and the subject in the adverb clause are not the same. (Therefore, this is NOT grammatically correct.)

    Example A)
    "When gathering speed, this power along with power from a diesel engine is used to operate the motors. "

    Now my question is this: Is the following sentence also a hanging participle (or a dangling participle) because the subjects are not the same between "the size was measured" and "using the ABC method"?

    Example B)
    "The size was measured using the ABC method.

    Here, just like the example A, the passive tense ("was measured") is used. If this is the participal construction, what is the common subject? Is this really of particpial construction and thus is grammatically correct? Or are the subjects not the same in the example B as well?
    Last edited by gorikaz; 19-Oct-2008 at 07:09.

  2. #2
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    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: Participal Construction (#3)

    Quote Originally Posted by gorikaz View Post
    Dear teachers,

    In my past thread, I have learned that the following sentence is what is called a "hanging participle" or a "dangling participle," where the subject in the main clause and the subject in the adverb clause are not the same. (Therefore, this is NOT grammatically correct.)

    Example A)
    "When gathering speed, this power along with power from a diesel engine is used to operate the motors. "

    Now my question is this: Is the following sentence also a hanging participle (or a dangling participle) because the subjects are not the same between "the size was measured" and "using the ABC method"?

    Example B)
    "The size was measured using the ABC method.

    Here, just like the example A, the passive tense ("was measured") is used. If this is the participal construction, what is the common subject? Is this really of particpial construction and thus is grammatically correct? Or are the subjects not the same in the example B as well?
    It still isn't good, I'm afraid. Do one of the following and you'll get what you need to get it right:

    The size was measured using the ABC method. = the size used the ABC method to be measured ?????

    The size was measured by/through using the ABC method. = by means of
    They/We/Somebody measured the size using the ABC method.


  3. #3
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Default Re: Participal Construction (#3)

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    It still isn't good, I'm afraid. Do one of the following and you'll get what you need to get it right:

    The size was measured using the ABC method. = the size used the ABC method to be measured ?????

    The size was measured by/through using the ABC method. = by means of
    They/We/Somebody measured the size using the ABC method.

    Thank you for your comment.

    To be honest, I have the same opinion as you. My example B can be replaced to the active voice ("We measured the size, using the ABC method."), where there is agreement of subjects between "We measured the size" and "using the ABC method." In the acive voice, therefore, I would not have any problem. Also, the insertion of "by" before "using the ABC method" could be one option as well, I think.

    However, I still want to know what other native speakers who know grammar well or English teachers see and analyze this sentece B. Please give me more comments on this subject, please

  4. #4
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Participal Construction (#3)

    The first one does dangle - the power is not what is gathering speed.

    The second one was fine.

    Do you have a problem with this, still in the passive?
    The sample was tested by the scientists using the ABC method.

  5. #5
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Default Re: Participal Construction (#3)

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    The first one does dangle - the power is not what is gathering speed.

    The second one was fine.

    Do you have a problem with this, still in the passive?
    The sample was tested by the scientists using the ABC method.
    I see, I see
    So, you mean that "by the scientists" is omitted here because it's generally known or guessed "by whom", yes?

    In other words, my example B can be rewritten as:
    "The size was measured (by us) using the ABC method."
    Here, "who measures the size" and "who uses the ABC method" are implicitly known/understood by the general public. Therefore, "by us" is omitted and the sentence directly starts with "using ...method" soon after the verb "measured."

    Is my understanding correct, no??

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Participal Construction (#3)

    Well, there are a few times you want to use the passive.

    The first is when you don't KNOW who did it: The door was left open. (You don't know by whom)

    Another is when you know but you don't want to say: Mistakes were made. (Not: Tom made a mistake, because you don't want everyone to be mad at Tom.)

    Another is when WHAT WAS DONE is far more important than WHO did it:
    A complete Tyrannasaurus Rex skelaton was found in an Arizona campground. (No one cares the Percy D. Bluderfoot was the person who found it - it's the discovery that matters.)

    This last reason is the reason used in your example. The fact that the samples were measured is what is important, not by whom.

    In fact, your reader may or may not know that it was you were measured them, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that they were measured using the ABC method.

  7. #7
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Default Re: Participal Construction (#3)

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Well, there are a few times you want to use the passive.

    The first is when you don't KNOW who did it: The door was left open. (You don't know by whom)

    Another is when you know but you don't want to say: Mistakes were made. (Not: Tom made a mistake, because you don't want everyone to be mad at Tom.)

    Another is when WHAT WAS DONE is far more important than WHO did it:
    A complete Tyrannasaurus Rex skelaton was found in an Arizona campground. (No one cares the Percy D. Bluderfoot was the person who found it - it's the discovery that matters.)

    This last reason is the reason used in your example. The fact that the samples were measured is what is important, not by whom.

    In fact, your reader may or may not know that it was you were measured them, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that they were measured using the ABC method.
    Thank you very much for your comments and advice. The information you provided me is very helpful for me to understand English grammar further. I truly appreciate it!

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